Doyle McManus describes the Republican "billionaires' primary," where a series of right-wing billionaires each seem to have a "pet candidate" they can "make or break." Philadelphia Eagles fans will remember (though not fondly) former owner Norman Braman, who's now a Marco Rubio man. The Nation's John Nichols, writing on the same topic, reminds us that the plutocrats in this "primary" don't speak for very many Republican voters: almost half of rank-and-file Republicans think the rich don't pay enough in taxes, and a similar number think we should have fewer foreign policy adventures. Also, though Mr. Nichols doesn't note it, two-thirds of Republicans think the Supreme Court botched the Citizens United v. FEC decision that birthed this "billionaires' primary" to begin with.
Ho hum, the 15 biggest medical device corporations pushing Congress to repeal the Affordable Care Act's 2.3% excise tax just so happen to be pushing a lot of their profits "offshore" to avoid taxation. I wonder if anyone besides a corporatist would run through a wall for medical device tax repeal. I also wonder if anyone who supports such repeal can explain how the tax is supposed to work in the first place -- the ACA would, after all, deliver more work to medical device corporations through its exchanges than they'd otherwise get, and a 2.3% excise tax in return hardly seems like extortion.
Copyright law has become ever murkier in recent years, and now tractor manufacturer John Deere asserts that, though you actually paid cash money for that tractor, you don't really "own" it, because the tractor has a computer chip with some code on it. Well, so much for my lifelong dream of popping wheelies with a tractor! Seriously, they're trying to muscle in on the good thing computer-makers have with their digital books and mp3s you can't resell, but no one really thinks of either one of those things as, well, things.
Max Ehrenfreund writes about how "Kansas Lawmakers Want the Poor to Pay for Tax Cuts for the Rich." Good Kansan working families pay nearly one out of every nine dollars they make just in state and local taxes -- that's before we get to federal taxes -- and they're about to pay a bit more than that. Yet they re-elected Gov. Brownback, not because he's so clever at using social-issue misdirection, I maintain, but because Democrats offered little better in Paul Davis, who never ran on repealing the Brownback tax cuts, but on maybe slowing some of them down. Typical Democrat weakness.
In a peripherally related note, Wichita State statistician sues top Kansas election officials in order to obtain electronic voting machines' paper tapes. Why? Because she's noticed the same thing other folks have noticed: that in many precincts across America, "the percentage of Republican votes increase the larger the size of the precinct." Furthermore, the pattern seems to favor Republican establishment candidates over Tea Party challengers. Remember when Diebold's CEO declared in 2004 that his corporation was dedicated to delivering Ohio for Mr. Bush? There's motive, at least.
Finally, some good news: Comcast has abandoned its effort to
assimilate merge with Time-Warner cable, after much public outcry (including yours, I bet!) over how a merger would further entrench Comcast as a monopoly. A Comcast PR statement lamented that "we would have liked to bring our great products to new cities," which must have made Comcast subscribers all over America spit out their coffee. But we helped do a good thing here, even if Comcast is having a sad about it.